Just for meals, for instance, I pack cups, mugs, plates, soup bowls, a measuring cup, grill tools, saucepans, skillets, the coffee pot, propane stoves, matches, gas canisters, coffee filters, a griddle, a folding grill, a mixing bowl, silverware, mixing spoons and spatulas, foil, Ziplocs for leftovers, a bacon drippings can, paper towels, dish soap, a dish pan, dish towels, hot pads, and trash bags, and that doesn’t count the food! Now imagine things you need for every part of your day, from brushing your teeth, to hiking, to showering, to sitting around after dark reading, to going to bed, and you begin to see why the list is three pages long.
We use this list because I have found that if I don’t have it to cross off, I will invariably forget something. From time to time we delete something on the list or add something as our situation changes. When we were young we didn’t need to take two boxes of medications.
We keep a backup disk of items saved on the computer. That list is on it. Should we ever lose it, I might even be tempted to never go camping again. I cannot imagine having to remake the list from memory. More likely, we would remake it around the fire the first night after discovering all the things we forgot.
When we had boys with us, I had other things on the list that were equally important. In fact, I was probably more careful about their things than mine. I wanted them to have enough clothes, especially enough warm clothes. I learned that lesson the hard way when we woke up by a mountain stream one June morning to fifty degree temperatures and they had nothing but shorts and tee shirts to wear. Fifty degrees in June? As a Florida native I didn’t even know that was possible, and I felt horrible, quickly mixing up some warm oatmeal and hot chocolate while Keith built a campfire for them to huddle around as they ate.
We are all on a trip every day of our lives. What have you packed for your children? Too many parents just let life happen without a plan. Do you teach them? Do you talk with them every chance you get about a God who loves them, who made them, and who expects things of them? Do you discuss the things that happen in their lives and the decisions they made, or perhaps should have made? Do they know that those decisions will affect their eternal destiny? Do you allow them to pay the consequences for their mistakes, or do you shelter them? Do you tell them what the world is really like out there, how to recognize the traps, the enemies in disguise and the true values of life? Are you sure you have everything they could possibly need to assure their eternal destiny?
Maybe you need to make a list.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; Psalms 78:4-7.